Arizona courts calculate child support pursuant to the income shares model. Under this model, both parents’ incomes are used to calculate the amount of child support that one parent will pay to the other. In addition, this support amount is not based directly on actual spending; rather indicate estimates of child costs. As such, the purpose of child support in Arizona is to establish a standard of support for child(ren) consistent with the reasonable needs of child(ren) and the ability of parents to pay.
If you are establishing or modifying a child support order, you may hear the phrase “Child Support Worksheet” used in and outside the courtroom. The Child Support Worksheet is just that, a worksheet that the Court and attorneys will use to establish the basic child support obligation.
What Factors into the Child Support Worksheet?
When determining the basic child support obligation the Court and/or your attorney will ask for the following information:
- Parenting time and time-sharing arrangement;
- Gross income;
- Court ordered spousal maintenance (paid or received);
- Whether there are any additional natural or adopted children and, if so, whether they are subject to a support order;
- Whether either parent carries private health insurance for the child(ren);
- Whether there are any childcare costs;
- Whether there are any extra education (think: mandatory tutoring) costs;
- Whether there are any extraordinary (gifted or handicapped) expenses;
Once all of this information is gathered, verified, and upload into the Child Support Worksheet, a child support obligation is determined. Thereafter, the parties can discuss deviation of the support order up or down depending on the particular circumstances of the case.
If you would like to discuss establishing or modifying child support contact one of our friendly and experienced family attorney today at 1-888-929-5292 or 602-258-1000 for a completely free consultation. We'd also like you to have a free copy of our book, Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times.